Married couple Kate (Catherine Keener) and Alex (Oliver Platt) run a trendy furniture store on Manhattan, buying up goods of the recently deceased at rock-bottom prices and marking them up. They also bought the flat next door with the understanding that its current tenant, cared for by two granddaughters, can live there until she passes away. The plot of Please Give is a vehicle for complex portraits of women. Kate experiences a marital and personal crisis grappling with ethical issues. She likes nice expensive things, is happy with her achieved social status, but suffers when seeing the poverty that surrounds her. She has to handle her daughter’s teenage rebellion, raising her beholden to values Kate herself has sometimes renounced. Involved in the lives of the two daughters next door, Kate notes that the lonely and empathetic Rebecca cares for her sick grandmother, while the less familial Mary lives fast and free.
In her witty and intelligent style, director Nicole Holofcener employs the camera like an emotional X-ray. She shows characters’ contradictions and insecurities and looks for ways to open their ensconced internal worlds. Will it all lead to tragedy, comedy or both? The director/screenwriter takes her ideas from real life in all its humorous and often dramatic glory, and this ambivalence underpins the characteristic tension of her stories.
Director and screenwriter Nicole Holofcener has premiered all her films, including university shorts, at the Sundance Film Festival. Born in 1960 in New York, her family moved to Los Angeles when she was a teenager. Before studying film, she worked as production assistant on several movies (including a Woody Allen film). At Columbia University, her shorts included Angry (1991). Fans revere her feature-length debut, Walking and Talking (1996), as a cult classic. Holofcenter’s intelligent comedies center on modern women, as exemplified by her favorite actress Catherine Keener.
1991 Angry (kr. m. / short)
1996 Rozmawiając, obmawiając… / Walking and Talking
2001 Pięknie i jeszcze piękniej / Lovely & Amazing
2006 Przyjaciele z kasą / Friend with Money
2010 Please Give